After WW II, lots of Germany families bred rabbits for meat. The rabbit’s pen was small and could be kept on the balcony of an apartment, in the cellar or outside in the garden. Rabbits could withstand cold temperatures and could be kept outside all winter, as long as they were dry and not standing in a draft.
When asked today, some folks from this post-war generation won’t eat rabbit meat anymore. They’ll say they ate so much rabbit as kids, they couldn’t bear another bite. But some still keep rabbits because they are easy to raise. Instead of throwing away vegetable peelings, the rabbits will eat them. They eat grass (not from the lawn mower, though!), hay, cooked potatoes, apple and potato peels. And rabbits born in the spring are ready to be prepared in the fall.
In Pennsylvania, we seemed to have grown up on a dish called Chicken Paprikash. It is a stew made by sautéing onions, adding powdered paprika and letting it lightly brown, maybe a bit of stalk celery, too. After adding chicken broth to make the soup, the meat is added. I make it in a pressure cooker, so I bring the pressure up for about a half an hour, then take off the pressure, open the pot and add potatoes. Then the soup is thickened with flour and milk. I add a nice dollop of sour cream and serve with a fat piece of buttered bread.
I make this dish with rabbit, because rabbit has a delicate, light flavor and is easily overpowered by other recipes. Rabbit tastes like chicken. Also, this dish is very handy for hiding all sorts of light meats of unidentifiable origin. As a child, we seemed to eat a lot of Paprikash during small game hunting season. It all tasted like chicken, right?